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iPhones used to measure patient experience

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Patients can now give instant feedback on the care they receive from using an iPhone.

North Cumbria University Hospitals trust is providing patients with an iPhone, or similar handheld touch-screen device, with which they can answer questions about their care, hospital cleanliness, food and the ward environment while they are still in hospital.

The data will provide a measure of patient experience that can then be monitored through a web portal that will also measure real time staff satisfaction and clinical standards.

The scheme, pioneered by director of nursing, quality and governance Sandy Brown and cancer nurse specialist Mark Irving, is the result of a 12 month pilot including both outpatients and inpatients across all specialities at the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital. The programme analyses information from three data streams – patient experience, staff experience and clinical indicators.

Ms Brown said: “Patients are asked to give feedback on their care while they are still in hospital, rather than being sent a questionnaire once they are home. This gives a much better picture of their opinions.”

The North Cumbria team has been invited to address a conference in early June, demonstrating to participants the value of understanding the relationship between these sets of data and how it can lead to improvements in team performance and patient care.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • There is a balance to be struck between the convenience of hand held "point of care" data capture and the greater usefulness of the more detailed information which can be achieved from electronic questionnaires linked to patient data. More sophisticated data driven services can reach nearly all patients, not just a sample. They can generate bespoke questionnaires per patient and collect clinical outcomes at multiple stages without the need to manage devices. Examples of these more comprehensive approaches can be seen at

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